Participant Information Sheet for Disability Support Workers

Project: Evaluation of Decision-Making Support Training for Disability Support Workers

Who is conducting this research?

Dr Stella Koritsas, Manager of Strategic Research 

What is the research about?

A brief online course about decision-making support has been developed for disability support workers. Support workers anywhere in Australia can participate.

Decision-making support is a new way of doing things. It involves helping someone with disability to express the things in their lives that they want, do not want, like or do not like so that they are empowered to make decisions. 

Support workers are invited to complete the online course and a survey to help us understand whether the course changes knowledge and practices about decision-making support. If the course is effective, we may make it available to other support workers. 

Who can participate in the research?

Disability support workers currently working with adults with intellectual disability or acquired brain injury anywhere in Australia can participate in the research. 

What will participating disability staff be asked to do?

  • Complete an online training course. The course will take up to 80 minutes in one sitting, or can be completed module by module over a two week period. It can be completed at a time that is convenient to you. If you stop part way through a module, you can pick up from the module where you left off when you log in again. 
  • Complete an online survey on three occasions – before the commencement of the course, then immediately after the course, then again 2-3 months after the course. The survey will take about 20 minutes to complete each time. Surveys will be provided to you via an online link. 

Will I benefit from being in the research?

By completing the course, it is hoped that you will learn about decision-making support. Completing the surveys will help determine if the course is effective in changing knowledge and practices in decision-making support.

Are there any risks to being in the research? 

The research is low risk. There may be some inconvenience to you because of the time required to complete the course and surveys, but this has been kept to a minimum. 

In the unlikely event that you become distressed as a result of being in the research you should contact your general practitioner or Lifeline 13 11 14. You may also be able to access the employee assistance program at your workplace.

Why do I need to provide an email address? 

If you want to participate, you will need to provide an email address so that you are given a login to access the course. Having a login allows the website to remember how far into the course you have progressed so that you can automatically pick up from the module where you left off rather than start at the beginning (if you can’t finish the course in one sitting). A login also means that your survey responses (pre, post and follow up) can be connected. In connecting your survey responses, your email address is automatically replaced with a random number. This means that your email address is not connected with your survey responses and that, if your email contains personal information (for example, first and last name), you cannot be identified. 

The researcher will not have access to any email addresses. An administrative assistant will, however, have access to your email address and your progress through the course in order to send you reminders to complete the course and the survey. If you log in and do not complete the course in one sitting, up to three reminders will be emailed to you. You will also be sent up to three reminders via email if you complete the course but not the surveys. After the three reminders have been sent, your email address will be deleted and no further contact will be made. 

Is participation voluntary?

Participation in the research is voluntary. Your decision to participate in the research will have no effect on your employment, your relationship with Scope or the researcher. 

If you consent now, but then change your mind, you can stop participating by not completing the course and surveys. Please note that you might receive up to three reminders to complete the course and surveys. If you no longer want to participate, please ignore these reminders. Data that you have provided up to the time of withdrawing cannot be removed from the research because survey data cannot be linked to individuals. 

Is the information you provide kept confidential and secure?

Your email address will be deleted as described above. Only an administrative assistant will have access to your email address and only for the purpose of sending you reminders. 

All survey responses will be stored on a secure online server. When this data is downloaded onto a computer it will be safeguarded by a password. Only the researcher will have access to the survey data. Five years after completion of the study all survey data will be destroyed.

The results will be reported in papers (such as journal papers, reports) and conference presentations. Only group results will be reported. No information that would reveal who participated will be included in the presentation of results.

Will I find out about the results of the research?

A summary of the results will be put on our website. If you want a copy emailed or sent to you, please contact the researcher. 

What if I have questions?

If you have any questions, please contact:

Dr Stella Koritsas, skoritsas@scopeaust.org.au (03) 9843 2065

How do I consent to be in the research?

You do not need to complete a consent form because completion of the course and surveys implies consent. 

What if I have a complaint?

This research Scope 114/18 LR has been approved by the Scope Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC Identification Number: EC00428; Organisation Identification Number: ORG0554).

If you have any complaints about anything to do with the project, the way it is being conducted or any questions about your rights as a research participant, please contact:

Megan Thompson
HREC Officer
Scope Human Research Ethics Committee

Scope (Vic) Ltd
Level 2, 302 Burwood Road
Hawthorn 3122
Email: HREC@scopeaust.org.au
Telephone: 03 9843 2026